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Old 02-17-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
Janice Daugharty
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Truth (lies?) in Fiction, by Janice Daugharty

Yesterday, during an email interview I happened up on an old writerly question I'd almost forgotten: How do you get to the truth in fiction? I've now been writing for almost three decades and I still don't know what "truth in fiction" means. I have a sense of what it means, in that when my false alarm goes off while writing, or editing, I realize my grade B soul has just reared its head. Usually, its something cute or precious or syrupy sentimental that triggers that alarm and I never quite get rid of commiting the same sins over and again. I've written before about humor and irony as antidotes for the poison of sentimental writing, so no problem there. But will somebody give me a lay-writer's definition of truth in fiction? Is it like having your picture taken and you know your smile is false but you're not quite sure how to fix it? Thanks. Janice Daugharty www.janicedaugharty@yahoo.com http://www.amazon.com (books and ebooks)

"Janice Daugharty has what every writer wants...Critical success and broad appeal." Hartford Advocate
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:35 PM   #2
James_Wilde
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Hi Janice and welcome to MR.

The nearest explanation I can think of equates truth with integrity, specifically character integrity. If a character acts "out of character" that's a lie. OK, once, if it helps your fiction, and you make it clear that the character doesn't want to do whatever it is, but does it anyway, and as long as it's not a sort of deus ex machina. But basically, characters should act in accordance with the rules you have built up for them.

Or maybe I'm missing your point.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:54 AM   #3
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Maybe it's as simple as something just having a ring of truth about it, in that it is like life and we can recognise the characters and situations and say, "Yeah, I've felt like that."
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:39 AM   #4
Janice Daugharty
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Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.
 
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James and Luke, thank you so much. James, that's a great definition "integrity." "Acting by the rules I've set for them." Thank you so much. I've really got it now. Wonderful! Janice
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:49 PM   #5
G J Lau
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I just finished a first novel and came away with a much greater appreciation for the craft of acting and the process of getting in character. I never understood what actors meant by that, but now I think I do.

It is hard to put into words the process of getting into the head of fictional characters you have created. When it works, the plot flows to some extent from the dynamics of the characters rather than fitting the characters to the plot. Certain scenes existed not because I had planned them, but because it just seemed like that's how so-and-so would have to react to what had just happened. To that extent, I think my book became "truer" as it progressed. Don't know if that makes any sense.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:29 PM   #6
Janice Daugharty
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Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.Janice Daugharty can self-interpret dreams as they happen.
 
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RE: "Truth (lies) in fiction, by Janice Daugharty"

I've been warned by MR person not to post such "bogus" questions. Apparently, it seems, MR thinks I was only trying to shill my ebooks. Nope! In fact I just received an email from the "Interviewer," a college teacher of creative writing, that she also feels some of these terms are vague, hackneyed, and meaningless, especially "truth in fiction" and "theme." She said that she doubts most writers ever even think about such while writing. Janice
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